Sometimes it seems like technology is viewed through the same distorted lens with which Darwinian Evolution is typically misunderstood: the belief that newer is always better.
Today, the NBA reverts to using the leather ball that was its standard since forever, until the advent of the past two months' failed experiment: the microfiber composite ball touted at the beginning of the season as possessing "superior grip and feel," greater consistency, and lacking the need to be broken-in.
No sooner than the new ball hit the court, players began to complain about it, saying that it cut their fingers, bounced strangely, responded badly to getting wet,and generally felt "unnatural." Finally, the Player's Union filed a grievance, leading to the ball being retired mid-season.
Which brings us to the question: why was the new ball used to begin with? Since no players asked for it, who did?
Aggressive marketing and lobbying of NBA officials may have been the culprit.
But where the blame really lies is with our adherence to the belief that new technology always represents an improvement over what it replaces. Ergo, once something is designed and made, it must always be used, and its predecessor retired and discredited.
Like newly-evolved species, new technologies are not always evolutionary triumphs. In some cases, they prove to be no more than a speculative and costly dead-end.